Convenience store operator Casey’s General Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: CASY) Monday reported higher earnings and revenues for the first quarter, which also came in above the market’s forecast.
Earnings, on a per-share basis, rose 22% year-over-year to $2.31 in the first quarter of 2020 from $1.90 a year earlier and topped the Street’s expectations. Total revenues moved up about 1.5% to $2.63 billion. The top line also came in above the estimates.
During the quarter, same-store sales in the Grocery and Other Merchandise segment grew 3.2%, aided by strong margin growth that was partially offset by an out-of-period inventory adjustment. Same-store gallons of fuel sold were down 2% while gross profit for the segment grew 22%, benefitting from the management’s price optimization efforts and favorable fuel margin environment.
Same-store sales at the Prepared Food and Fountain segment were up 1.6% during the quarter, reflecting the ongoing digital transformation and improved pricing, combined with the promotional activities.
“Quarterly results were positively impacted by our fuel price optimization initiative, store growth, and a continued focus on controlling operating expenses. As we look ahead, we remain optimistic our long-term strategy, including the value creation plan initiatives, will generate additional shareholder value,” said CEO Darren Rebelez.
The management expects that the third distribution center, which is scheduled to be opened in the southwest part later this year, will provide significant cost savings and support the future expansion strategy.
Earlier this month, the board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.32 per share, which will be paid on November 15, 2019, to shareholders of record on November 1, 2019.
Casey’s shares closed Monday’s regular trading lower and continued to lose during the after-hours session. Since last year, the stock gained about 33%.